Anyone trained while eating keto?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by jimmy484, Dec 19, 2015.

  1. jimmy484

    jimmy484 Member

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    The last few years has seen a shift in the received wisdom when it comes to nutritional advice. What seemed to begin with the Atkins diet has culminated with paleo and intermittent fasting. But has anyone been able to combine a proper keto diet (70% fat, 20% protein, 10% carbs) with a normal volume of typical cycling training?

    Some people are arguing that it's possible to be a competitive athlete and fuel yourself via the ketogenic diet (Dr Jeff Volek and Gary Taubes spring to mind), but I'm not entirely convinced. Anyone ever tried it? Was it successful?
     
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  2. Bigbananabike

    Bigbananabike Member

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    Are you NUTS?! Keto, Paleo etc are the WORST ways to eat, train etc ;-(
     
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  3. steve

    steve Administrator
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  4. bykster

    bykster Member

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    I disagree on calling the worst way, but I do agree that it's not perfect. I tried keto a while back and I wasn't cycling as workout then because it was winter, but I did cardio in the gym. I noticed I had a lot less energy when on keto, but my weight just fell off so I guess it's good for that. When I stopped keto, I noticed a huge increase in my capability and my conditioning went through the roof.
     
  5. jimmy484

    jimmy484 Member

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    Haha, that's exactly what I was thinking. In fact, I did a very short experiment in which I ate keto and still tried to train with the same intensity and volume. No chance! My performance was so obviously sub-par that I just couldn't continue with it.

    However, there are a lot of researchers who think it's possible, but I'm nowhere near convinced myself. There's talk of becoming "keto-adapted", but even so I don't see the point when eating a standard "athlete's" diet works just as well and/or better.
     
  6. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

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    Pardon me for interrupting your banter. But what exactly is keto? Honestly, I am riding primarily to lose weight although I am also on the lookout for my nutrition. Although I sometimes indulge in soda after a ride, gee it's so nice to drink soda during summer, I mostly drink water especially after a morning ride. As for the food, rice as carbs will give me the energy.
     
  7. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    This is a diet that is used to treat epileptics. It is a means of forcing the body to burn fats instead of carbohydrates and reduces the number of seizures.

    As fat man on a bike says - it would be hard to imagine a diet worse for a cyclist who needs to be able to generate a lot of energy intermittently.
     
  8. jimmy484

    jimmy484 Member

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    It's been claimed that a ketogenic diet can help in losing fat, but many people who've tried it report feelings of reduced energy and an inability to optimally perform long duration exercise such as cycling.

    My own interest in it comes from the fact that a lot of nutritional scientists are now saying that it is possible to compete at a high level of sporting competition while running a keto diet, but as I've said, the anecdotal evidence doesn't bear this out. The comments here don't dissuade me from this position either!
     
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  9. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    A keto diet gives your body gives your body no other option than to burn fat. This does NOT mean that it becomes any more efficient at doing so. The upshot is that without carbs in your diet which is a fast and easy access to energy you are stuck with a slow and access to energy. Cycling leaves you essentially starved and any regular exercise that requires rapid or even moderate access to energy is the same thing.

    This diet is a medical necessity for a certain kind of epileptics but don't pretend that there is any sort of advantage to it in normal people.
     
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  10. jimmy484

    jimmy484 Member

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    There is some evidence that certain enzymes become up-regulated when a person has been in ketosis for a prolonged length of time, therefore making fat-burning a more efficient process for the liberation of energy. However, even when in this "keto-adapted" state, it is still less efficient than using glycogen for energy, which makes the keto diet a non-starter for athletes in my opinion.
     
  11. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    It is extremely important to realize that "more efficient" is NOT "sufficient". Fat burning under any conditions is MUCH slower than burning carbohydrates and carbs aren't very fast. A donut and coffee at 10 may not hit your system until 12 or 1.
     
  12. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

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    That line about leaving you essentially starved is not good for me. My problem in dieting is the craving for food and when I feel famishes, naturally I have to grab something to eat otherwise I may develop ulcers because I could hear my growling stomach - our physician said it is an indication of something so do not ignore it when you hear sounds coming from your tummy.
     
  13. jimmy484

    jimmy484 Member

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    In ketosis the lack of carbohydrates isn't a problem as the liver supplies ketone bodies to the blood which are taken up into the tricarboxylic acid cycle. This is why lions can sprint after prey even when they are starving. And this is why researchers who promote the keto-diet think it could be suitable for high-end athletes too.

    Personally, the science seems to support the keto-diet, but there's a lack of people willing to go through the pain of becoming keto-adapted to test the theory. Maybe a well constructed experiment in the future could settle this once and for all....
     
  14. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    Whoa now. The Keto diet makes you feel full enough.

    But you cannot process fat into energy fast enough and you get extremely tired on long rides or even medium rides at higher speeds. Since I've done fasting rides to keep my weight down I burn fat and I would get so tired that I was looking at the road directly in front of my wheel. On one occasion I rode around a corner and ran right into the back of a parked pickup truck. Luckily and older one with a heavy steel bumper so there was no damage done except I saw it at the last second and it scared me so badly I fell over as the bike stopped. I must have yelled as well since a car passing by stopped and helped me up and several people came out of their houses. Very embarrassing but as I say - no damage since it was a little uphill and I was so tired I was only riding about 8 mph.

    In order to lose weight this way you have to stay hydrated and I don't drink much on rides. I may drink one bottle on a long ride and often have to force myself to drink on an organized century. When I was younger I used to drink a lot so I don't know what's up with that.
     
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  15. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

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    I think I am beginning to like that Keto although this is the first time I've heard of it and I still have to ask around if Keto is available here. I drink a lot of water and it is my habit already since I've had kidney stones way back in 1994 - I actually had undergone 2 times removal of such and now I'm on my third stone. To combat the stone, I have learned to drink double the amount of my usual water consumption.
     
  16. ItsikH

    ItsikH New Member

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    "with a twist": Long before I have started training and "planned" cycling, I used to cycle almost without any carbs, just plain water, very few bananas at the most. Only after learning that "you are doing it wrong" have I started adding carbs to my cycling diet... yet my best results were before!

    I believe that competitive cycling requires carbs, a lot of it. If you cycle for pleasure only, even long distances [very long - my longest was 600kms straight] - no carbs required.
     
  17. jimmy484

    jimmy484 Member

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    Some distance athletes, like cyclists and runners, find that taking high sugar food or supplements on an empty stomach whilst training can actually impair performance due to the notable nausea that it can bring on. This is why a lot of in-race supplement formulations contain a little protein and/or fat to counteract this. Not sure if this is why you had your best performances before taking the carbs again, but it might be something to think about.
     
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  18. Weatherby

    Weatherby Well-Known Member

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    I am a long distance cyclist who rode most of my 15,000 plus miles last year in a fat adapted state. I rode a lot of fast times in long distance type events. Worked for me. I am not in NK right now by choice (and have gained 20 lbs but I'll drop it with 4-5 weeks of exercise and NK)

    The benefit to fat adaptation thru nutritional ketosis does not really show a benefit in my opinion until events are at least 10 hours long. Less than that and you can fuel during the ride no problem.


    http://www.ultrarunning.com/features/health-and-nutrition/the-emerging-science-on-fat-adaptation/
     
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  19. jimmy484

    jimmy484 Member

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    This is kinda what Ben Greenfield says, a trainer who competes in triathlon competitions. He's a big advocate of the keto diet - or the "keto-ish" diet - and reckons that the fat-adapted state you talk about is ideal for lower intensity, longer duration events like that.
     
  20. ItsikH

    ItsikH New Member

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    Cycling whole days with 2 bananas... since my "ideology" has always been limited intensity [mainly based on heart rate around 70%], I never felt any "bonk" of any kind on those rides.
     
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